Health literacy: why it matters to South Asian men with diabetes

Prim Health Care Res Dev. 2015 Apr;16(2):214-8. doi: 10.1017/S1463423614000152. Epub 2014 Mar 24.


This study aims to explore the health literacy needs of South Asian men with diabetes to generate scoping data to inform culturally appropriate interventions with this group. Health literacy levels were measured using the TOFHLA-UK (n=45) and supplemented by semi-structured interviews with healthcare providers (n=12). Data suggest that the majority of participants from this cohort tend to have marginal to inadequate health literacy levels. A generational gap was also found. Although language is a common barrier, low literacy confounds this issue since some patients are unable to read even in their own language. Thus health communication and care plans need to be simplified to match current health literacy levels of South Asian men with diabetes. Interventions need to work around cultural norms and collaborate with community members. Research and interventions that consider the needs of older generations of South Asian people with diabetes are also needed.

Keywords: South Asian men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asia
  • Diabetes Mellitus / psychology*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Literacy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Socioeconomic Factors